Dawson City to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory ~ 339 miles
Aug 7, 2007
|TUESDAY, AUGUST 7 - DAY 36 - TRAVEL DAY
DAWSON CITY TO WHITEHORSE - 339 miles
CAMPGROUND DESTINATION TONIGHT:
PIONEER RV PARK
Directions: Five miles south of Whitehorse on Alaska Highway D.C. 881 on the left.
Milepost guide page 169
Travel day. BBQ dinner at Pioneer RV Park
You'll recall that on Day 10 of this trip we were in Whitehorse. You probably didn't get to see all you wanted to see in this historic city so here's another chance. What a name huh? Whitehorse. It's probably everything you thought a Yukon outpost would be.
Whitehorse is an interesting city and you may want to learn more about its beginnings: Whitehorse has a population of approximately 19,058 persons and has an elevation of 640 meters.
The city of Whitehorse was established as a mining town during the Gold Rush of 1898. It was originally given the name "White Horse" by the gold miners who thought that the rapids at Miles Canyon looked like the manes of charging white horses. This name was used until 1957 when the Geographic Board of Canada combined the two words to form the name Whitehorse.
When the White Pass & Yukon Route railway was completed in July 1900, connecting Skagway with the Yukon River, Whitehorse came into being as the northern terminus. Here the famed river steamers connected the rail head to Dawson City, and some of these boats made the trip all the way to St. Michael, a small outfitting point on Alaska's Bering seacoast.
Whitehorse became the Yukon's capital in 1953 after the territorial seat of government was moved from Dawson City. Once a sleepy little village of less than 500, Whitehorse grew almost overnight into a city of more than 21,500 as U.S. Army personnel and civilian contractors poured into town to commence building of the Alaska Highway in 1942.
We were advised to leave camp NLT 7:30 AM, because of the length of the drive. We did just that.
It was sprinkling when we left and headed south toward Whitehorse, YT. It rained and/or sprinkled all the way.
We made a few potty stops and a lunch stop along the way. The road started out good then deteriorated into a 10 mile long construction zone of loose gravel then fresh dirt spread over the gravel plus the rain. There must be a ton of mud clinging to the vehicles. After that, the road was under repair for frost heaves in several mile stretches at a time. Other sections with heaves weren't under repair, but should be. I think I must have averaged 42 MPH (339 miles/8 hours). I can't wait till we get to some decent pavement.
The terrain along the highway was rolling forested hills and river valleys. We crossed the mighty Yukon River heading north to Ft Yukon, AK then south west to the Bering Sea, some 1500 miles away. It reminded me of the mighty Missouri and Mississippi Rivers in size, color and swiftness.
There was a stop to see a river falls that looks like 5 fingers. When I pulled off the highway and into the parking area, it was full of RVers and 2 tour coaches. With no place to park, I pulled back onto the highway and will save that sight for my next trip.
I pulled into the RV Park, topped off the tank and moved into my designated spot. Since it was raining here also, the area around the coach is wet and muddy. I do get cable TV but cannot get their wireless.
Tonight I went to a hosted BBQ here at the RV Park. The food was great. I'm always interested in a hot meal. I just got back to the coach before it rained hard.